PSYCH 700 : Political Psychology


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Provides an overview of the intersecting fields of psychology and political science. Seminar-based topics include personality and politics, political socialisation, voting behaviour, media effects, rational choice vs. symbolic politics, the competency of the electorate, the psychology of legitimacy, and other timely issues. Attention will be paid to the international literature, though New Zealand-based research will also be discussed.

Course Overview

This is a seminar-based course on the interdisciplinary field of political psychology—lecturing will be minimal and active class participation is essential. Because this is such a broad subject, the course will cover a distinct topic each week. By providing an overview of such a diverse literature, it is hoped that students will find that some (but hopefully most!) of the readings pique their interest and are relevant to their own research endeavours.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Communicate Students will be able to effectively communicate (both verbally and in writing) their knowledge and depth of understanding of the field of political psychology. (Capability 1 and 4)
  2. Evaluate Students will be able to critically evaluate an concisely summarize research in political psychology. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  3. Create Students will be able to develop a novel research study that makes a substantive contribution to the literature in political psychology. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Discussions 10% Group & Individual Coursework
Essay 30% Individual Coursework
Assignments 10% Individual Coursework
Reports 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3
There is no plussage, nor is there an exam, in this course.

Learning Resources

All of the readings are available on google scholar (, through the University’s library (, or on Talis. Accordingly, there is NO required text book associated with this course.

Special Requirements

Not applicable.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of seminar, 6 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 2 hours of work on assignments per week.

Other Information

Because this course is a graduate-level seminar, students will be expected to participate in all class discussions. This is a way for you to (a) show that you have read (and understood) the material and (b) further your understanding of the literature. Class discussion will also help your colleagues develop a nuanced view of the readings, as each of you will likely have a unique perspective on the material. 

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Past student feedback has led to numerous changes to PSYCH 700 over the years, including changes to the weighting of assignments due early in the semester (e.g., assignments were weighted equally in the first years of the course, but  changed such that assignments due early in the semester are weighted less than assignments due towards the end of the semester). I also replace articles that fail to spark students' interest, and incorporate new research that is topical. Finally, I have clarified course expectations and the course content in order to incorporate feedback from students. In short, I highly value student feedback and do my best to ensure that each year is better than the last.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 11/01/2020 03:17 p.m.